Avoid the shame and secrecy of crossdressing

Today I was listening to a TED talk on shame by Brene Brown. She said, “If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgement. If you put the same shame in a petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.”

I got shivers up my spine as I thought about my transgender experience. Shame has been a constant companion through my journey, it has haunted me even as I asked the question of my readers,  “Are you ashamed of being a crossdresser” and even when I stand on the mountaintop victorious over shame I’m aware that it still bides it’s time, hoping for an insurrection of my spirit.

Secrecy

Those in the transgender community know secrecy well. It has been our bed fellow since before we knew what it meant. Growing up in secrecy we hid our feelings. As we blossomed into adulthood we desperately fought to keep our deepest darkest from others. Like a cancer from within, secrecy ate our souls.

Silence

Like twin demons dancing down the path to despair, silence and secrecy skip hand in hand. Our desire for secrecy kept us silent, and the silence of the community kept others silent. A lot has changed in the last 10 years. The voices of those who can no longer embrace secrecy has sent a cry of hope out into the silence. This was the reason I started Crossdresser Heaven. At first it was my cry for help – to myself, to understand what I was going through. Then it became my cry of hope – small though it may be, I added my voice to the chorus of those offering advice, encouragement and solace. I told my transgender story. I shared your transgender stories.

Judgement

Yet judgement wandered among us still – the judgement of our hearts, the judgement of those with little understanding or care. They condemned us as sinners, as heathens and accused us of all manner of debauchery. They stripped down our identity to a single word, erasing all our good deeds and contributions to hang the sign, “Transgender” around our necks. For many the shame was so strong that we bowed our heads and wore this brand as if it were tattooed on our hearts.

Empathy

It does not need to be this way. We do not need to hide in secret, weep in silence or cower at the judgement foisted upon us. Dear readers, lovely ladies and beautiful kindred spirits, I understand your walk. I know your shame, I feel your struggle, and I hold your hand as you get back up one more time. We are here together. Alone they can isolate us, ridicule us. Together we are strong. Together we can change laws and melt hearts. Together we can find comfort and share warmth.

Together we can pour the salve of empathy on shame. Dousing it so thoroughly that no secrecy, or silence, or judgement can ever infect the beauty of who we are created to be. For all those who have not heard it yet, today I say to you, “me too.

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Dedicated to creating a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for everyone in the transgender community.

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95 Comments
  1. Rogina Bakey 6 years ago

    Parts of what you wrote are so very true.Because of the “personal secrecy” of the community,mainstream society has no clue how large the “transminded” population really is.We were born this way,and there are many of us on this earth.In my world,I wish many of my “friends”weren’t so secretive.Life is too short,have some fun while you can.

    • Nick 5 years ago

      So, why do you feel that cross dressers are born this way? I honestly don’t see how that can be so. Please talk with me-this is “interesting!”

  2. Tonya Renee Schechter 6 years ago

    ME TOO!!

  3. Robert 6 years ago

    I do believe we are taught to hide within ourselves. We build our self imposed prisons around us. Our homes become our dungeons or jail cells as we hide who we are on the inside from the world, our neighbors and even our families. I am TG and have known this since i was 7 years of age when I a boy donned my first dress. I was taught all the usual things that boys don’t wear girls things, boys don’t play with dolls, but I questioned the rational of this. Why is the biggest question I ask. I even researched this only to find we as humans are made of both parts of both genders, we all have male and female hormones, we all have DNA that we got from our parents. Yet I was expected to live just half a life and deny the other part of my total being. Why? Does my wearing a dress or a pair of pants change who I am as a person? These questions I resolved by taking course in religious studies. We are told we are made in the image of God – RIGHT. So since we know of no Mrs. God, does this mean or can the inference be drawn that God is a Transgendered being as well. The reference to God as HE really has no bearing as the Bible has been rewritten numerous times by men, not women. Think about this.

    • Linda 4 years ago

      “God is a Transgender being” God as part woman, part man. I love that image! Thank you.

  4. Wanda 6 years ago

    I knew at the age of 4 that I something was amiss. I wasnt born the right sex. Ive kept it a secret for 60 years but its been sooo hard keeping it inside. What to do. Coming out would be so freeing.

    • Jayme Lynn 2 years ago

      Wanda You MUST GIRL!!,i too have had this same feeling since i was 7 yrs old,I’m now 55 ! And can no longer live the PAINFUL LIE i have dressed and gone out many times “for a quick fix” but now i have decided to come out fully ,my son’s understand and support my decision!!,my wife is some what torn hopefully she stays but she has known for 20Yrs and realized this isn’t a “FAZE” Be strong honey you can do this !!

    • Brenda S 5 years ago

      Freeing?
      Loss of family
      Loss of friends
      Loss of work
      I would be free from so much.

      I have held it this long. I’m sure I can hold a little longer and my family won’t have to feel the same shame as me.
      I don’t think sharing This burdon would cut the load in half. I think it would just duplicate onto the backs of those I love.
      Now I want to cry. Sorry

      • Frances walker 1 month ago

        Hi i know your message is very old but i hope you read this i love you as iam sure many outhers do at cdh and may god richley bless you!

      • Linda 4 years ago

        I am so sorry that you feel you would lose family, friends and work if you acted as your true self. It may not actually happen but fear of the unknown possibilities just cripples us. As Rodney King said: “Can’t we all just get along? God Bless

      • Nick Cihlar 5 years ago

        So, you are being freed from these things like loss of family? I want you to be happy, Brenda. Yes. I have noticed how sharing my shames with others doesn’t do the job Brenda. Are you feeling better today? I am familiar with cross-dressing stuff. I have felt bad too about it. Well do you want to know what helped me solve the problem? Well, I prayed to Jesus and there is a reason why I talked with God. I knew what good prayers were so I said one…

      • worxs4kelly 2 years ago

        hmm? I too am a…..part time cross dresser I am also a true believer in GOD/JESUS too,,, & still I am figuring out to the why/when & how come I do what I do…*some times (part time) C-dress I kno right-off the bat that GOD says: its a sin to be & become homosexual & that when HE made us,,, as in mankind male/female HE didn’t or…couldn’t make a mistake in HIS creation He did & does know what HE does….becuz He,s GOD….& not some 1 we call George lol &…to go back to,,, the subject of: HOMOSEXAUL a lot of people (think) that right away if a believer in GOD/JESUS thinks….there-out to…….shoot them down & hate them….& that is far from the truth! Hey…look at me….lol I too am doing what I do…I Might not be going as far as being/becoming a homosexual or bi sexual or evening having sex with jus any-1…. As GOD teaches that HE…….does love the sinner,,, (but) He also makes it very clear…that HE really doesn’t like what people do….to SIN* Some people I think,,,, also doesn’t understand to the (only)-Reason why GOD has so much Hate towards Homosexuality & it ties into….something HE said to the very first people he made on,,, earth… Adam/Eve he gave them instructions to….be fruitful & multiply to…make babies.. lol after all He is a family man…so to speak,,,& so……if U think about it-? how is it possible for a woman/woman man/man to be fruitful & multiply ??? it jus cant happen to the reason of how & why HE made two types of people that HE called male/female &……besides if & when a time ever came that more & more people do become homosexual then,,, by all means…..that would be…..the ( cut-off ) of male/female making ( HIS ) Children 1 kind male/male female/female …& then when (they) get old & start to die-off……then NO-MORE PEOPLE ON….EARTH,,, & really…if u jus think about it…..that’s just something that GOD,,,,NEVER intended to happen,,,,, so its (nothing) AGAINST people/ male/females its…..really that type of SIN* & yeah,,, no matter how it sounds & no matter what,,,, what century it is & how NAMES change of : homosexual : it still remains a way to CUT-OFF man kind/people ok I,ll shut-up now….either two things might happen lol ? I,ll start to get hate/emails or ???? nothing lol lol

      • Author
        Vanessa Law 2 years ago

        Worxs4kelly,

        I was a Christian once, but came to realize that love and acceptance is rarely practiced by those who claim to follow Jesus. You cannot change who I am, who the beautiful woman of Crossdresser Heaven are. You also cannot change who you are.

        But you can do something far more powerful – you can love us. You can accept us. Nothing shares the beauty the Jesus Christ represents more than unconditional and unearned love you share in his name.

        And you can love yourself.

        I’ll quote from someone you may be familiar with…

        “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:31-36

  5. Chelsea Rose Wendt 6 years ago

    about the video: while I agree that changing out relationship with shame may be the most important force on the planet, I was disappointed in what she actually said about shame.

    Now, us Trans folks, on the other hand, can talk about shame! We can talk about how it holds us back from being ourselves. Our ability to handle shame is crucial to our survival! Indeed, facing the trans part of myself has given me renewed vigor in other areas of my self experience as well. It’s like I learned how to eat shame by transforming my relationship with being trans, and now I’m set to apply that tool elsewhere.

    I also want to say that I think our self-shaming comes in layers – I’m certainly still finding new ways that I shame myself even just for being trans. This is why I still see a therapist.

    One of the ways that being trans can be a blessing.

    • Nick 5 years ago

      How can that be a blessing? What a blessing??

  6. Tonya Renee Schechter 6 years ago

    Robert: I agree with you.

  7. rachel lyn 6 years ago

    i enjoy it when i cross dress i feel great with the item i have on and i wear them to work daily

  8. Pablo Vergara 6 years ago

    I loved that entry so much, so I had to translate it into Spanish and share with my crossdresser readers. I hope you don’t mind… Thanks for this cry of hope!!

  9. Hugh 5 years ago

    Hi this is my first time here and this article spoke to me. I was 13 when I first pulled on a pair of tights and slipped my feet into a pair of wedge sandles. I felt shame then and have done every time I’ve dressed as a woman since (am now 40). I am now thinking that I shouldn’t feel shame and embrace the female part of me. Maybe I have just taken the first step of a new adventure…

  10. Mollyanne Bowman 4 years ago

    I think we all have a sense of shame from one degree to another. I too suffer from shame, guilt and hiding what I truly feel. I am in my very early seventies and have been dressing since I was thirteen years old. My first marriage ended because of it but that was just an excuse. I knew a lot more of the actual reason(s). Being that I’m retired now, I dress much more frequently and try to hide from my spouse what I am wearing, very difficult to conceal full c cup breasts, pantyhose covered legs and heels. But when I am dressed or partially dressed, I feel soooo much better and relaxed, it almost feels like the feminine hormones are coursing my veins and I am finally at peace with myself. I too would shed my male persona if I knew family and friends would not invoke disgust upon me.

  11. Tonya Renee Schechter 4 years ago

    I have lost my immediate family I have three cousins so far that have stepped forward and told me to be myself I now dress full time, I have a lot of Facebook friends. I have been dressing full time since 1999. I am 68 years old and I have memories of early years.

    • Linda Shirley 4 years ago

      Wonderful how the cousins step up and accept. Happened in my family too. Hugs. Linda Shirley.

      • Tonya Renee Schechter 4 years ago

        Thank you Linda!!

  12. CJ 4 years ago

    This is simply outstanding. Your message is powerful and goes right to the heart. God bless you for this. Thank you so much.

  13. Ana Beatriz 3 years ago

    Hello, since I was 12, 13 years always had female pleasures from my 16 or 17 I started wearing women’s clothes without being gay, I was forced by nature to be family man. But tired. After 3 marriages where after separating me from one where we stayed 2 separate years, we again stay together. That I was 28, 30 years. When I reached the age of 48 with her 3 children grown and married, I decided to just make me feel like a woman again. It was a shock to her. After three years my children had learned from my sister too. Today at age 57, at home I’m every woman, but to leave my partner will not let me out, because here in Brazil is still very difficult to be a different person. She agrees to change our city so that we have a new life, where I can be a woman 24 hours a day. There are days when it depressed for my condition Trans. In 12/2014 we were spending 10 days on the beach where I could get 24 hours a day as a woman, I have beautiful photography, hormones could have some breasts, was wonderful to have the body burned by the sun, with the marks of the bikini she wore. I want to be the woman who was born in this man’s body. I’m a lawyer, but I have to walk like a clown in a suit, I’m dying to go dress, makeup, shoe heel, all beautiful … I’ll get, was not born to be a man, I love being feminine, I have a reasonable body, my wife always told me that he thought I was strange because my butt was different, my kindness, my shoulders were small, already painted nails, etc., loved to cook, clean the house, ironing, complained that her clothes often was out of place, etc.., but then she understood that I am a little man and woman …. a lot of kiss to all

  14. deanna 3 years ago

    sounds like a beautiful life for you…i love the beach…been a cd since 4… been straight married twice …four kids…so enjoy..youre so lucky…

  15. Eric (Paulette) Bagai 3 years ago

    I think my life turned around, not when I came out as a cross dresser, but when I accepted that that was part of who I was. Understanding that I was not a collection of labels, each with an image and set of expectations, but that I was a single, whole person, with many facets or aspects – like a crystal.

    The next important milestone in my life was determining what aspects of myself I wanted to be public, and what I wanted to be private. This was not a small thing, it took a long time to work out the basics and I’m still filling in the details.

    Do I want my family to know without necessarily seeing me dressed, or to see me dressed around the house, and all the time or just some? How about my neighbors? My children’s friends and playmates? My co-workers? Strangers? Where exactly do I draw the line?

    What about Facebook?

    A lot of this has to do with shame. Some with embarrassment. Some with a need to make the fact of my CD comfortable for others, and especially comfortable for other CDs who are not as Out as I am. And what kind of public persona, in each of the many public and private spaces I inhabit or travel through, do I want to project?

    These are some of the decisions one needs to explore when deciding whether or not to come out, and how much.

    I think of Benjamin Franklin, who invented and projected a public persona as a wise and thrifty upright citizen, yet led a private life of extreme sexual and gender exploration and enjoyment. I also think of William Burroughs, who recorded and published all about his life and fantasies for everyone to see, yet was capable of putting on a conservative suit and being the image of probity and conservatism when bailing his son out of jail on a drug charge.

    In Franklin’s day no one would dare publicize his private life, especially in the light of the persona he projected. He was thereby free of the fear of public exposure and blackmail. Burroughs, on the other hand, simply didn’t care and assumed that his readers and the general public would rarely ever cross paths.

    I’m more in the Burroughs camp, though I’ve been a public and private school teacher and administrator. Now that I’m retired I can be much less concerned about discovery, and much less ashamed if I am discovered. At the moment I live in rural Louisiana, so I’d just as soon not be a moving target for the less urbane of my neighbors. When I lived in the SF Bay area, not so much.

    This is something every CD must confront, and every CD has a different balance. We’re all “on the spectrum,” and we all choose different points of openness. The important thing is to consider ones circumstances and options, and choose the most liberating and personally enhancing style one can without compromising the degree of privacy one desires, and not be paralyzed by fear.

    (Note to the Editor: this an other brief essays are available for publication, if you wish. Just let me know.)

  16. peter harlow 3 years ago

    hi TED i heard and watch your presentation and it hit me right to the heart thank you. keep on sharing your story to those who have not heard it. and thank you for your boldness and courage to speak out in difference..

  17. JinianVictoria H 3 years ago

    I am a 66yr old cross dresser. I am retired military. My career was in a very highly structured setting where machismo was prevalent. Once I retired I decided to start living for myself. I am also married, my wife does know of this aspect of me…. I told her before I proposed. I live 24/7 crossdressed. I am quite simply at the point in my life where I simply don’t care if someone has a problem with this. My attitude is simple… if anyone has a problem with it it is exactly that their problem not mine. I suppose what I am saying here is rather than try to live in the shadows and co exsist..wouldn’t it be better if we were more public about this aspect of ourselves.? So what if we dress differently? does that make us any less real as a person? I have found that as a rule those who are always laughing and condemning us are as a rule desperately trying to hide something they do not want known about themselves. My crossdressing has given me a whole other way of looking at life and allowed for some amazing gifts and skills to develop within me. it seems to me that the *shame * we supposedly feel when it is found out…we have chosen to allow to happen to us. Something I was told a very long time ago still holds true and bears repeating….No one can cause or give you any shame or whatever it might be UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO LET THEM. Why give another the power to do this to you? Am I a cross dresser? Damn right I am! And my question to you is simple: Why aren’t you?

  18. carryli servina 3 years ago

    The only time I felt ashamed is when I didnt tell roommates when i moved in and quit dressing for 5 years. I don’t go around announcing it but I also don’t take extra care in hiding it. I always have at a pair of panties on and most times a bra and I will go everywhere wearing them. I have gone to the doctor with them on. I am proud to be who I am and proud to be imho brave enough to go out with them on

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 3 years ago

      Lovely Carrli! Proud of who you are – I wish more in the community would raise their heads as you have! *hugs*

      • carryli servina 3 years ago

        My family is the only ones who don’t know the truth and I am going to sit with them individualy and tell them in the next few weeks

    • Linda Shirley 3 years ago

      I am not a cross dresser but your struggle speaks to my heart and understanding. We would be friends. I am a compassionate lovely lady and would love to help you realize your true and most comfortable self.

      • carryli servina 3 years ago

        That is a very nice compliment. I do miss being able to do the housework or cook dressed up. My last wife loved me to stay dressed when I wasnt working. Although since i broke my back I am not as passable as before I would also love to just walk along the river feeling the wind blow on a fresh shaved nylon covered pair of legs

      • Linda Shirley 3 years ago

        It is wonderful when people can feel comfortable inside their own bodies and love, as well as like, themselves. I am glad you had a understanding and compassionate wife.

  19. Daphne 3 years ago

    I am not ashamed for being a cross dresser but I regret deeply that I wasn’t born the woman I am inside. Every day I get up and look in the mirror at the male I was born as knowing I am all woman inside. I am no more than a lesbian who has “fathered” two children because of a birth defect. I have been robbed of the woman’s life then I should have had. So in no way am I ashamed to be a cross dresser it allows me to have some gender correct time. SRS? Where would be my uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, menstrual cycle, and PMS. I can’t for me justify spending that amount of money to come up short of being the genetic woman I am inside.

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Oh Daphne dear, I feel your pain. Transition was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, but it still leaves me feeling empty. I will never mother a child. I understand the shame and feeling of being an outcast that many genetic woman feel when they can’t have children. It’s… like I’m half a human.

      • Daphne 2 years ago

        I applaud you for your courage to transition. I feel those like us have been cheated in not being able to experience the entire female life, ups and especially downs. I want to be who I really am and as the years track on that want is becoming a need. What I wouldn’t give for a period or any other downside aspect of being a genetic woman. I would gladly bear any burden to be who I was born as inside. Being a Fem lesbian in a man’s body is terrible.

  20. roxiefox 3 years ago

    ME TOO!
    Thanks for posting this for it re-affirms the old adage – “United we stand, divided we fall” and the time has come for us all to stand united. I have taken the liberty of posting a link to this post on my own blog for the more people this message reaches the better in my view.

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Thanks Roxifox – we are all in this together – just look how far we’ve come already with a few brave souls standing together in public with pride.

  21. Jackie Custer 3 years ago

    I did not come out until I was 74. I knew I had always wanted to but being married, jobs I had I buried my desire. Things changed and I found myelf living alone so I started with pantie and worked my way out. I found once I came out, I became happier, nicer and more loving towards people. I am not ashamed at my lifestyle or choice; in fact I have no men’ clothing left. I have lost a couple “friends” but I also gained more in return. Not saying there in’t some problems but they are very minor in scheme of things.

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Hey Jackie, bravo dear on your courage to come out at 74! What an inspiration for all of us!

  22. zoe wood 2 years ago

    I also are in my 60s ,,l crossdressed from a young age not knowing why i did , it just felt right. As i got olderi began to understand what it ment to me,m sister would help and encourage me,it all felt natural. IN my 20 i started to feel guilty that i was doing something very wrong, i met my wife and forced myself to stop dressing. For many years the guilt was unbearable, people would laugh and make jokes about men that dressed as women, i was hidding this secret from my wife and i should have told her before we married. Over the course of our marriage the urge to dress,to be my self became stronger, the guilt was still there but i could not stop it. A year ago i came out to her,it was very tough for a few months and my guilt that i should have told her from the beginning giving her a choice is still there. I do not feel guilty now of crossdrssing God for what ever reason made me this way and i cannot or want to change. The guilt that some of us feel about being Trans or a crossdresser or whatever should not be our guilt it is given to us by other bigoted people. Zoe:-)

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Zoe, thank you for sharing your story dear. Your words ring true – we should not be given guilt by others. I’d also add that we should not accept guilt we give ourselves either.

      Hugs and blessings dear.

  23. Candy 2 years ago

    I love to crossdressing never once felled ashamed. Love going out dressed.

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Rock it Candy!! It’s always wonderful to hear from ladies like you!

  24. Sharelee Rougette Cartson 2 years ago

    I can never have that freedom, as my wife forbids me to tell anyone and my daughters dont know, but their attitude to transgeneder issues indicates they would never speak to me again if I am ever found out. Life moves on for some, but the rest of us are secret crossdressers for life!
    Sharelee Cartson x

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Hi Shareleee, I’m sorry to hear dear – I know that sometimes the acceptance in the world moves to slow to bring all of us along with it. I pray that you can find balance and peace in your life.

  25. Candy 2 years ago

    I love and enjoy being a crossdresser. Never once do i feel ashamed .I am proud of the person I am.

  26. Lisa 2 years ago

    I have this desire to be a woman and met a beautiful cross dresser while traveling for work and after a weekend of converting my sexual orientation the desire is even stronger

  27. eddie 2 years ago

    Life is hard and ppl dont understand espeshly if you from africa the way too dress but my wife and kids dont juge me they support my feminine clothes my wife scores she can wear my clothes an lingerie also when I started I was 3xl now I’m m too large and loving it

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Congratulations on the progress hon!! Keep it up!

  28. Daphne Brynne Allyn 2 years ago

    I feel we are people with a birth defect plain and simple. I didn’t ask or do I desire to have a male body but this is the way I was born. It’s the same as if we were born missing a limb or with some biological birth defect. I don’t choose to feel like a woman it is who I am and in the same way it isn’t acceptable to harass some one born missing a limb or with a biological birth defect it isn’t right to have shame or be harassed/ discriminated for what we were born with. I’d much rather to have been born with the female body that matches my persona. We are not wrong just different but in our society there are still those who don’t agree.

  29. Karyn Lobelia 2 years ago

    My wife started me on the road to cross dressing when she encouraged me to grow my hair long and she started buying women’s pants and shirts for me that were rather unisex . When , she insisted I wear my hair in a shoulder length feminine style and start wearing natural makeup , I realized she was right that I enjoyed being pretty , instead of a very unmasculine boyish looking guy . When , she started helping me understand that she saw and loved my feminine side . When we went to parties at our friends house and I was really wearing a lot of jewelry and makeup I was so nervous . It was great that everyone thought I looked beautiful . I wanted to cry because my friends all said that they never wanted to say it but it was obvious to them that really feminine without being swishy . I was more like a tomboy to them , that was too sweet and kind to be a guy . If I had not had a group of friends that just were HAPPY FOR ME , and glad that my wife brought out my best me IF YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ACTUALLY LOVE U , not a fantasy of who they think you should be , which is often based on what they THINK SOCIETY BOX IS THAT U ARE SUPPOSE TO FIT then you will no problems . Always being kind , polite , and nice and never argue . Just always find something to agree on – like do you think I should live my own live , ? Do they want to write a script to send you and pay you to act out someone else’s like in their movie ! It is really easier to be yourself than someone , but everyone has their own family and friends to deal with . I am real lucky I am 21 and live in this new age of acceptance ,. OMG the idea of keeping yourself in a school of denial is unacceptable today ? That is why I am Gender Fluid because I want to love everyone , who I feel is loving . Kisses and Hugs .

    • Monica 2 years ago

      Wow you are so lucky. I’m 45 and am on my third wife. She asked me when we first got together if I had any secrets. So I said wtf and just told her. To my surprise she excepted me for me. But it has been a long hard journey. Keeping secrets became part of me and it was and us so hard to renain truthful. I work on it every day.

  30. Dianne Baldwin 2 years ago

    thanks Jackie you have made me stop and think I’m 68 and there is still hope for me. Heads Uo to All those that have had the Courage To Come Out

  31. Bobbie S. 2 years ago

    Shame is a funny thing. When Caitlyn came out. I asked my son and daughter how they felt about it. They have no idea their father crossdresses. I got a honest answer. They said it was not normal and Caitlyn Jenner was bizarre and my son referred to him as a asshole. Sooooo where do we go from here? For a lot of crossdressers like myself we compartmentalize. Different things go into different compartments. We have to do it this way for our careers and family. There are different degrees of crossdressing in the spectrum. I’ve crossdressed since childhood but kept it in the closet for family and career sake. It was easy because for me it is fetish not a liftestyle. I get turned on dressing and always have. I also enjoy all the other aspects of my life. I want it all my co-workers respect, my family’s respect and a tight skirt and heels. Soooooo like many of us I compartmentalize. I don’t care what people say most heterosexuals find us strange. We have a lot to overcome.

  32. Andrea Miles 2 years ago

    I am 70 and have just come out, though not at work, and only partially to my wife. She accepts my taste for feminine things and has no problem with my doing the cooking and the housework. However, she hopes, I think, that my crossdressing is just a passing fad that will somehow go away.

    Sometimes I pass in public, sometimes I don’t. However, even when I don’t – often because I ‘m recognised by people who know me – I have not yet been criticised. Everyone seems kind, supportive and encouraging. In fact I would like as many people as possible to know that I am truly a woman inside,, as that way I feel even more strongly that I am, at last, being true to myself. In the same vein, I am beginning to feel uncomfortable wearing male clothes.

    Actually, I have never felt ashamed of my femininity. I have often been fearful of discovery, because of what I feared would be the consequences. So fear, yes. That I know only too well. But not shame.

    Hugs and kisses
    Andrea

  33. Barbara 2 years ago

    The secrecy, silence and shame, guilt was a major part of my life. I am 61 and have a very supportive wife that accepts me as I am. I spent a lot of years hiding, did the purge thing often, when the guilt would ramp up. I now do not feel guilty, I wear only women’s clothes other than the rare mens shirt, wear a bra and small forms every day, even to work and am getting to the point where I do not care. I work with a lot of “locker Room” mentality males so I try to be a bit more discrete and do not flaunt. The guilt is pretty much gone, the shame is gone, silence and secrecy are losing the battle. I have to thank the internet for opening up the discussions as well as letting me know I am not alone on the journey.

  34. ian james nugent 2 years ago

    Thank you for being alive. It’s a wonderful message to us all so we all can say a NEW life is born. Welcome to sisterhood. Janis.

  35. julianne w 2 years ago

    I just took a deep breath and started typing .This is my first post as i just joined I am so nervous i cant even spell .Here i go Just like most i started very young at like 5 dressing up my mother had a picture of me dressed in one of her outfits a sleep on my parents bed while i was waiting for them to come home after a night out she used to laugh and say my little girl (if she only new) i don’t remember much dressing until i was a young teen and my brother and his wife lived at home and some of her old close were hanging around in he basement and i would dress up while everyone was out .this continued as i got older (i am the youngest of a large family of nothing but men) when i started dating my wife whom i now have been happily married to for 35 yrs and three children i would sneak some of her things and wear them around hoping to get caught by her but never did .Over the years my wife and i have played dress up in bed and had some fun with it and she new i had a lingerie drawer full of things but she never new the extent of my cross dressing until just over a year ago i decided i needed to come out totally. I had been wearing yoga pants and tops around the house and the stuck up conversation and i told her how much of a cross dresser i really was at first she was quite upset and i got angry that she didn’t understand and asked her if she had ever really done any research on the subject . she did and found a new out look but still was struggling with it but that’s when i messed up and started taking to many chances in her eyes that people might find out and that she was concerned about it .in the end i set my self back a long ways because she said she couldn’t deal with it and that she would have to leave .To keep her I told her that i could stop and would knowing full well this isn’t possible but i would try. and here we are now as i sit here i am on lunch at home dressed she knows I am dressing because i confessed to her that i had and my legs are now shaved . My heart goes crazy with not knowing the next step I know she loves me more than anything and i need to take this extremely slow but i just can hide it any more and her acceptance of me and who i am is what i need more than anything else and to not have to worry about being caught and feeling the guilt of the secret .I don’t feel shame about myself i have accepted who i am and love who i am whether it be in man mode or femme mode I love him and her . So sorry for this novel but I feel I have finally found a place that understands me. Thank you for giving me a home !!!!! Love Julianne P.S. that is the first time i have ever written her name ( my name ) That’s amazing

    • Tracey Rose 2 years ago

      lovely story and lovely name. x

    • Ricki Rogers 2 years ago

      That is amazing that your story mirrors mine I am also at the point where my wife knows about my dressing but does not know the extent I know that she has not accepted it completely so we are going slow with it

      Ricki

    • skippy1965(Cynthia) 2 years ago

      Julianna-I FOUND it! What a great story, And a beautiful name! I too have been a lifelong crossdresser and did ultimately lose my ex wife over it(and some other things too:) ). I know too well that promising to stop is a pipe dream. I could no longer stop dressing than i can stop breathing. Death would result either way-physical or the soul-and either of those IS something I don;t want to contemplate! I’ll write more abut this in posts and PMs later but I am a closeted crossdresser who is exploring her options on whether to venture out in public and wondering if transition may actually be the path I end up on. Not there yet but not ruling it out either(As I would have ten years ago!). Anyway, great post-I ow it took a lot to write it down as I have been doing the same these last few weeks on the site. I still don’t know my ultimate destination but at least I know I’m not walking this journey alone! PM me anytime girl!
      Cynthia

  36. I lived with the secrecy and shame from the time I was three years old and my mom scolded and berated me for wearing a girls bathing suit (it was my cousins). I was caught crossdressing several times. At age eleven I tried to talk with Mom about how I was feeling but she wouldn’t listen, more shaming and worse from Dad. I lived with that until I was twenty-eight. Then I tried to explain to my wife, she tried to understand and work with me but could not. I did a great deal of soul searching and self educating (there wasn’t much except very scholarly medical texts and pornography then.) By the time I was forty I gave up the secrecy, by forty-five all the shame was gone too. At forty-six I began living full time as myself. I lost my family and many friends but I had finally found myself.

    • Tracey Rose 2 years ago

      Wow, that is so similar to my journey. So many of us have had a very long wait but the wait is worth it when finally we start coming out as a woman properly

      thank you Michelle,

      love,
      Tracey x

  37. Janine 2 years ago

    I have been crossdressing off and on for 40 years. Only now that I’m older do I feel confident and comfortable about going out dressed.
    I am border line at best when I am dressed up as a female but I really think that when I go out I tend to be able to act as a female and really don’t try to go past the limits of how a woman dose everyday things.
    For instance I dress for the occasion. I always try to fit in with the flow of the people around me. I walk as a female I sit down like one always keeping my legs together and my ankles crossed
    Since I have been going out more and gained the confidence that I look like a woman I have been using the ladies room and haven’t had any issues with other women.
    I do like Venessa said and that’s go in use the facility and leave as quickly as I can.
    So far no one has ever given me a second look.
    In fact once as I was leaving a lady called out to me and said excuse me miss but you have some tissue on your shoe. When I looked she was right and as I removed it I thanked her for telling me
    In closing I want to say that the more time you take to get dressed and be able to pass the easier it gets to be able to have the confidence to go out and enjoy the feeling of being a woman.

  38. Karen Long 2 years ago

    Hello everyone, I am 55 years old been dressing since i was 8 that i can remember, i had an older sister to borrow clothes, i can remember the first time i put on her panties and bra and panty hose and heels, At that exact moment, one of the few times in my life, i felt like ME! i continued the rest of my life, got married early at age 21, told my wife 2 years BEFORE we were married all about me, she seemed to partially accept me, i built a house, had a child. on occasion she did LET me dress up but just for bedroom playtime, ill shorten this a bit, we were married 30 years, had another child late, then a year after the second child, i was sent divorce papers and she tried every way to use the Crossdressing against me. I live in the bible belt of Tennessee in a small town where i know everybody. The wife did everything possible to take everything from me during the divorce and my lawyer was no help, I was told to just settle and hope for the best. I couldn’t, i told the lawyer if i had to show up in court in a dress and heels to keep my son i would, meaning i no longer would let the wife use the dressing against me, the lawyer said i would lose my son and the house etc etc, so i fired my lawyer and finished the divorce my self. For a divorce in tennessee where the male was a CD, I won, she got nothing except a small child support and i get my son most of the time. I dated again telling the woman first i was a CD, she was a counselor with degrees in psychology, and everything went well, i got to dress and go out on occasion, she seemed to understand and like it, then 18 months after marriage, she told me i was going to hell for being a cd and again she tried to use the crossdressing against me in court, she got nothing at all, but now i am alone again. i know this was not the best story but just wanted people to know that even in the bible belt of tennesse where still crossdressers, by the all the church goers say we are going to hell at least the court system realizes we are humans and good people.
    Karen

  39. Danielle 2 years ago

    I’m 37, some family ‘kinda’ figured it out when I was younger, told my wife before we married, she said okay, and was kinda okay with the idea, until we actually went shopping and she seen me dressed up. devistated. It was a key thing in our divorce, in which she threatened to tell all my friends and family, so I frantically had to tell each and everyone the story. AFTER that, I’ve told every girlfriend, 8 outta 10 were cool with it, and loved me dressed. It recently got brought up about custody, my ex don’t want me to have my daughter at my place, because she’s afraid she might see some of my stuff, rediculious.. anyways, at that point at the end of December, I hired a female lawyer, who has my back, I had to discolse everything to her. She loves it! said it’d be an easy win. Within a week after that, I decided if I can do that, I can do anything! After court custody is done, I’m going to start to try to drive again, after that, I’m getting some dental work, after that, I AM STARTING HRT and becoming the woman inside me!!! Already talked to docs, counseling, family, whole sha-BANG! Instead of little by little, so excited, I’ve gave up on the dresses / heels , no woman wears that everyday… Went on a HUGE shopping spree, tops, jeans, boots, tennis shoes, jackets, khaki’s, the whole 9 yards! so proud of my self!

    • Megan 2 years ago

      Very good, congratulations. Please don’t stop achieving the happiness awaiting you.
      I have always believe God works in mysterious ways.

  40. nancy 2 years ago

    I do not understand why the people do not understand the feelings of crossdresder or transgender if some one is to be corrected it may be early age if still some one continues we must understand that he can not help it though crossdresser are very much help ful to the wife in domestic work and loyal i geel there should be unisex dresdes and make up so that every body can live freely

  41. Brenda_an 2 years ago

    Wow…so many replies. I would caution the cheering squad, there are good reasons to be afraid.

    Two of three of them are, retirement difficulties as generally the staff of a home are the lower class of
    society and quite base values are the norm. The other, is getting proper medical care…again there are doctors and staff, that don’t want to be around or treat “our kind”.

    It use to be the preserve of the gay population…now it seems we the third gender, are the disadvantage and most vulnerable.

    Sorry to rain on the parade.

  42. KerryMichelle 2 years ago

    I used to be ashamed of being a crossdresser. But I finally realized I shouldn’t be ashamed of something that brings me so much pleasure and doesn’t bother anyone else. I keep it to myself except for talking to other like minded people. Life is just to short to not enjoy something that has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember.
    KerryMichelle

    • rebecca 10 months ago

      I’m scared to dress in public. I wear panties under my jeans nearly everyday and lingurie some days buta soon as I get home I’m Rebecca til morning. I’d love to dress and chat sometime. I love girl talk.

  43. […] Publicado originalmente en Crossdersser Heaven […]

  44. Carmila55 1 year ago

    Hi am Carmila55 my cross dressing started at the age 14 I read the sale papers and stare at women wearing bras and panties wondering how i would i look good in them. Then one night i tried on my mothers clothes then fit well, and i got hardon. It turned me on, but I always felt different from other boy’s. At beach laying on my stomach I had little double a breasts. And my penis was below normal size. My first wife it said it disgust her me wearing her nightgown. She cheated on me, then I met her girlfriend she encouraged me to dress up. I was very happy then.we divorced. For stupid reasons I met alot of women who encouraged me to dress up I didn’t feel loved. Then I met another women she was five yrs older then me, she was English we had a great. Relationship but she drank to much. After I retired I left the my state moved to fl I have to roommates kim is gay and her sister did my makeup I went to a bar called the metro I passed as a women. Then I grew back my goatee, I wear bras and panties everyday, and I sleep in nightgowns it relaxes me. I need a woman to understand me its very hard to find. Am sorry I left a few other things out. My female hormones are perfect my male hormones are so low, 0.53 i need a hormone shot every 3 wks to maintain my bones, I also have no visible Adams apple, am confused about my body. I know am not gay or bisexual I want a women. With love Carmila55

  45. Maria Young 1 year ago

    Hi Girls I loved this article and yes I too felt much shame over the years and still do it’s shrinking though I think as I get older my true self gets stronger it seems along with all the other struggles I’ve had to face it is a source of much ridicule and denial but I continue to move forward the best I can My transition progresses daily although for now I’m kinda stuck where I’m at but I’m just using the time to perfect my look mainly at least Love & Hugs Maria

  46. Lea 1 year ago

    Hi Vanessa,

    Thank your for such an inspiring post, you’re right, it doesn’t have to be this way. Shame is really that companion which stops us from pushing ourselves to just be accepted by our family, friends, and coworkers. When I think of coming out to people I know, I can’t help but feel the shame just getting multiplied. Yet, when I crossdress and interact with people who don’t really know me, I feel a sense of independence, liberation, activism, who is challenging their perceptions, unafraid of what they really think. If only people who know me and those who don’t could look past the crossdressing part and see the real me, then there would be no feeling of shame.

    I did watch an uplifting video today by Jacob Tobia, who sets the example that it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be gender queer, it’s okay to look like a guy dressed and acting like a woman:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/video/welcome-to-queer-2-0-698560067526

    Lea

  47. Danielle P 1 year ago

    So telling. So poignant. I live with all of these. The burden I feel right now, of having to live a dual life-of having to live with the responsibilities of being a man, a husband, a father-and yet my feminine self wants to be seen, wants to be heard, and yet, has to remain in the shadows. I am tired of living a half life. I’m simply tired of living as a man. We have all been affected by the social conditioning of the world we live in. There is a quote that I am reminded of constantly in my struggle. “We are encouraged to be true to ourselves, to be who we are meant to be, but when we embrace our true self, those same voices say, ‘No, no. Not like that!'” Maybe I just haven’t surrounded myself with people who truly want me to be myself. All my life, those who claim to want what’s best for me, have tried to label me and cram me into one of their tidy little boxes, just so they can sleep better at night. The sad part is, it’s been going on so long, I still try to fit into that box, though Danielle is resisting now. She’s tired, too. Tired of being shoved into the shadows. Still, shame, secrecy, family obligations and the pressure of societal norms weighs heavy tonight.

  48. I. Am finally coming out of my. Shell building my wardrobe up feeling good about myself looking for my job to go thru transiton I thank Vanessa and crossdressers heaven for letting me be apart of this community still have a ways to go but will not turn around.I will be ashamed no longer. Thank u.

  49. Georgette Marie 1 year ago

    I also feel ashamed and have been dressing from age 12; I turn 60 in April! I am married and have kept this secret from her. I find it impossible to tell her or any of my children. Brought up in a Christian family and I still am a Christian, but I feel so guilty about wanting to be a woman. I love feeling feminine, I love the idea of expressing myself with beautiful clothes, jewelary and makeup. I know that inside I am a female, I’m just so afraid of losing everyone over this that I keep it hidden except for those that I talk to that are just like me. The struggle is real and I wish it were easier for us that were always told that it is wrong 🙁

  50. delbra dawn 1 year ago

    we are what god made us to be .i have nothing to be ashamed of. god had a reason for making us the way we are. if others don’t like it they can take it up with god.love and kisses delbra dawn

  51. Stefanie 12 months ago

    Shame
    Plenty
    Guilt too
    But now i accept myself
    Told my
    Wife
    She is supportive. We went for a pedicure together she picked my color
    Im in 50s dressing 40 yrs

    I accept myself now
    But still struggle with my Christian beliefs
    Its not the xdressing its the sensuality that i tjink is the sin
    Very Happy to be here my wife knows and encouraged her to look in on
    Us
    Me
    Heterosexual
    Male
    Not looking to pass
    But if i want to wear a bra and some panties and my jeans and herls why cant I ?

  52. rebecca 10 months ago

    All your stories have mad me me a little more comfortable. Thank you

  53. rebecca 10 months ago

    anyone wana chat?

  54. Rebecca Smith 10 months ago

    I love that these older posts pop up from time to time. Very timely in my case. So, my fiance knows about my femme side, is supportive and loves me. For more than a couple years now.

    But, the shame is soooo ingrained that I still sheepishly fold my girly clothes on laundry day and yesterday rushed to change when she came home unexpectedly. I got caught and, far from that ingrained shaming that seems second nature, she reassured me that it’s all good, and I don’t have to hide anything. Obviously, that made me feel so much better and yet embarrassed at my reaction.

    So, those with a supportive partner, how long does it take to get over that need for secrecy and shame?

    I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from the other girls on here, and am enjoying this journey. My reaction today tells me I still have a way to go and feels like a step backward. But- the support my fiance gave me also gives me hope I can get past the shame.

  55. christine 10 months ago

    hi im chris but prefer christine im not ashamed more nervous an scared id love to meet a crossdresser who would take the time to help me dress with make up an possibly go out dressed up they would have to be patient because as i really want to be a girl i am as i said very scared an nervous i live alone so that would not be a problem and i can travel i dont as yet have any girl s clothes cos im scared to go into shops anyway thats my story xx

  56. Jennifer 9 months ago

    I have such a hard time of it all, my wife knows I dress, but I can only do it when she’s not around. So I buy clothes in secret, she knows I do it she doesn’t say anything about. I so wish she would let me be me, even when she’s around. I’m sure there is a lot I could learn from her. There is so much I don’t know about dressing.

    • Leonara 9 months ago

      Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story which is so familiar to mine… I dress when my wife is not around. It would be nice if we were able to share our feminine side with our SO’s

  57. Joni weibley 9 months ago

    A very true statement. I have fought these battle’s all my life but no more. I am done living like that.

  58. Joni weibley 9 months ago

    Jennifer. My wife also has struggled very hard with the way I am. She is trying very hard to come to terms with it. Try talking to her if she will listen. She has not divorced you so there is always a chance. Give her time don’t force it on her or get angry. It will take alot of time it is as hard for them as it is for us.

  59. Michelle 9 months ago

    I went out today all Dress up make-up and a nice summer dress I had my flack bosons on ( makes me a 36DD felt good went for a road trip drove to a mall walk around the mall for a hour some people look fun at me but did not say anything though I better get going went home and change into just a bra and panties had a good day.

  60. Krystal Queen 5 months ago

    I am still struggling with my family knowing. Due to bigot comments I feel like I can not even talk to them. But am I shame that I am cd tg no way. I have embraced my name new life and enjoy every moment of it. My only downfall is my company has no tolerance for cross dress trans gender. And I have to cd in secrecy there. I am not giving up my high pay so I at least where lingerie and some fem tops when I have to wear a blazer. Good luck everyone on your journey

  61. Angie Marie Ellis 4 months ago

    You look at all these other younger crossdressers or the ones in their 30s 40s they have a face of a real womens face,Now how about us that can’t help how our faces look and Still want to say we are as Beautiful as real women and thoses other crossdressers Yes I’m a Shame on how my face is and can’t find anyone to help me with the make up as far as my body completely smooth shaven my walk my talk very Good clothes still a Question but I’m not a shamed on thoses ideams just my Face

  62. Stephanny 3 months ago

    First I want to say that every Transgender person needs to understand that there’s always one who understands you or us like no one else. That’s our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Once after the last attempt on my life I realized that every step in my life He has always been there guiding me, shaping me or better making me into a fighter against the evil ones who like judging us in everything we do. To put it simply the only one we have to answer too is Him. Nothing anyone can say or do to us to try and bring us misery and unhappiness matters. Because if your faith is strong we can move mountains and conquer the evil that plagues us in everyday life.
    ever since He showed me that He’s always there for me I haven’t looked back and now I’m living my life as a lady who seems be causing men lots of problems. All I have to say is F.O.A.D. AH. Usually the look at me strange because they don’t realize I’ve just insulted them and finish by saying have a great day and God Bless you AH.

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